Plymouth Board Nominations Form


It’s Time to Nominate Plymouth Members to Our Boards!

For the first time this year, we will be conducting our nomination process completely virtually. Below is a link to a fillable PDF for you to nominate yourself or someone else to one of Plymouth’s boards. Read more about the contribution of each board below!

Please think about where you might be interested in serving and who else you think would be a great addition to one of our boards. Fill out a form for each person you’d like to nominate, including yourself, and send them to Diane Hayes at

Nominations must be received by March 10, 2021. Click here to download a fillable PDF of the Board Nominations form.

Church Council & Board Responsibilities

Below are the responsibilities of our Church Council and Boards. If you would like to download a PDF of this information to print and read, click here.

Church Council: The voting members of the Church Council shall be the Moderator-Elect, the chair and vice chair of each board or an alternate appointed by said board, the President of Women’s Fellowship and one member at large, who is not a member of any board, elected annually by the Council at the May meeting. The Moderator shall vote in the event of a tie. The Program Staff of the Church shall be non-voting members. The council meets the fourth Tuesday of the month to conduct the business of the church between congregational meetings.

Benevolences: 12 members, 4 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to: supervise, promote and interpret the benevolence activities of this Church; promote representation of Church members in decision-making bodies of the denominational and ecumenical agencies to which funds are given; and advise the Board of Trustees in the most effective use of benevolence resources by presenting a budget at the time designated by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Benevolences meets the first Monday of each month.

Christian Education: 15 members, 5 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to: recruit, train and place the volunteer Christian Education staff; establish Christian Education curriculum and procure necessary material and equipment; establish and execute programs of activities for various groups of young people and adults; and have general supervision of those auxiliary education programs which serve the community and are sponsored by the Church. The Board of Christian Education meets the third Tuesday of each month.

Christian Social Action: 15 members, 5 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to help the Church explore the relationship between the Christian faith and contemporary social issues by identifying issues, stimulating dialogue and inviting action. While the board may voice its opinion and take action upon any issue, in so doing it shall make clear that its opinion or action binds neither the Church nor any member of the Church. The Board of Christian Social Action meets on the first Tuesday of each month.

Christian Stewardship: 12 members, 4 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to: assist all members and friends of Plymouth Church in understanding the principles of Christian stewardship; encourage all members and friends of the congregation in their growing commitment to the practices of Christian stewardship; develop an ongoing program to receive statements of intention (pledges) to provide financial support for the ministry and mission of the Church; review the manner in which persons fulfill their stated intentions, responding where deemed appropriate; and maintain a channel of communication with other boards and committees to assure an effective stewardship emphasis. The Board of Christian Stewardship meets the first Tuesday of each month.

Deacons: 30 members, 10 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to assist the ministers in ministering to the spiritual interests of the Church and community. They shall, with the ministers, have charge of the religious activities of the Church, except as otherwise expressly provided in these Bylaws; assist in the preparation and administration of the sacraments, and in caring for the poor, the sick, the sorrowing and the stranger. They shall provide for the Church services in the absence of the ministers, and shall provide for the temporary supply of the pulpit, the compensation to be determined by the Board of Trustees. They shall receive the open collections; and shall appoint the ushers. The board shall appoint a liaison to the Board of Music and Fine Arts. The Deacons meet the second Tuesday of each month.

Membership: 12 members, 4 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to: increase the membership of the Church in accordance with the purpose of the Church; instruct the prospective and new members regarding the Church and its organization, and integrate these new members into the life of the Church; report regularly all changes in membership to the Church Council; and make a complete review of the entire membership rolls at least once every two years. The Board of Membership meets on the second Tuesday of each month.

Music & Fine Arts: 12 members, 4 elected annually for a 3-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to: develop, organize, promote and evaluate a comprehensive program of music and arts to provide an integral contribution to the overall mission of the Church; provide music and art for the worship services of this Church; and foster spiritual growth and enrichment of the Plymouth membership through music and the arts. The Board of Music and Fine Arts meets the first Monday of each month.

Spiritual Growth: 9 members, 3 of whom shall be elected annually to serve a term of 3 years
It shall be the duty of this board to : develop, organize, promote and evaluate a comprehensive spiritual growth program that provides diverse opportunities for spiritual growth and development. The board shall appoint a liaison to the Board of Christian Education. The Board of Spiritual Growth meets the second Thursday of each month.

Trustees: 12 members, 3 elected annually for a 4-year term
It shall be the duty of this board to: have charge of the property of the Church and manage its financial, business and contractual affairs; establish compensation for all employees, based on the recommendation of the Personnel Committee; prepare and submit to the Church Council, for approval or amendment, a budget of the estimated revenues and expenses of the Church; provide for an annual review of the Church’s financial records; elect the treasurer of the Church, supervise matters pertaining to insurance; designate the depository for Church funds; and act on fundraising requests. This board shall appoint liaisons to the boards of Benevolences, Christian Education, Christian Stewardship, and Music and Fine Arts, and to the Personnel Committee; and may appoint liaisons to the other Boards and Committees as deemed appropriate. The Trustees meet on the third Tuesday of each month.


Stations of the Cross Exhibit


The Plymouth Gallery has a brand new exhibit on display beginning March 1 until May 1. This exhibit will be a collection of 15 images of Christ’s last three days as told in the Gospels. We invite you to enjoy art spanning eight centuries, accompanied by scripture and prayers. Much like our February exhibit, you will be able to schedule a half-hour slots to visit this exhibit in-person during the week! Visits are limited to six people. Masks are required at all times in the building. When visiting, you will enter through the Circle Drive entrance off of 42nd St.

Openings are currently available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. You must sign up at least 48 hours in advance. More times may come available as our volunteers are vaccinated, so keep checking if you don’t see a time listed that works for you!

To sign up to see this exhibit in-person click here!


I Was a Stranger


The “I Was a Stranger 40 Day Challenge” was developed by the Evangelical Immigration Table, but is relevant for all Christians who are interested in listening for what God is saying to the Church about migrants & refugees. The Challenge is simply a series of daily Scripture readings from the Bible. The Welcoming Migrants Committee (WMC) is sponsoring this Challenge during Lent because, while immigration is clearly a political, social and economic issue, it’s also a Biblical issue; however, research suggests that many Christians have never thought about immigration issues from the perspective of the Scriptures.

The Challenge is really quite simple – by taking the Challenge you make a commitment to read a short passage of Scripture each day for 40 consecutive days, & to reflect on that passage in your heart.

To take the challenge to a deeper level & make it more meaningful, the WMC invites you to consider some additional activities:

  • Read the column by Noel Anderson (UCC & Church World Services Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants’ Rights) “There is Enough for All – Even During a Pandemic”.
  • Keep a journal of your reflections (see Journal/Reflection prompts below).
  • Share your reflections on the “I Was a Stranger” Facebook group and see the meditations of other Plymouth members.
  • Share the specific Scripture and your reflections on your personal Facebook page.
  • Pray for immigrants in the Des Moines area and across the country.
  • Invite local, state &/or federal elected officials to commit to taking the challenge & praying about this important issue.


Journal/Reflection prompts:

  • Was there a time or times when you were a “stranger”? What did the people around you do that made you feel more welcome?
  • How do our current public policies oppress or welcome the stranger? What would our public policy on immigration look like if it reflected Scripture?
  • What does your Star Gift have to teach you about welcoming the stranger?
  • What could Plymouth do to be more welcoming to the stranger?

Welcome New Members!


The following new members joined Plymouth Church on Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 following our virtual Discover Plymouth class. Welcome!

Britt Teply Carlson
I am an attorney practicing in-house and focused on employment law. I live in Clive with my husband, Charlie, and nine-month-old son, Miller. Charlie and I were married at Plymouth in 2015. We enjoy all outdoor activities, especially anything involving a lake. Pre-COVID we loved to travel, with some of our favorite trips being gorilla trekking in Rwanda, hiking the Inca Trail, and touring Easter Island. We hope to share our love of travel with Miller once it is safe to do so.

Megan Sowa and Calvin Utt
Hello! We currently live in Clive in our new home with our wonderful puppy, Gus. Megan is an eighth and ninth grade English teacher in Johnston and Calvin is an Ag claims representative at Farm Bureau. We love to hang out with our friends and go on walks with Gus. Megan’s unique collection is her ever growing collection of owls, because her last name means owl in Polish! Calvin grew up on a farm in Southern Iowa and loves to go home to help whenever he can. Together, we rarely miss a Taco Tuesday!

Taylor and Dillan Crawley
Taylor (Rookaird) and Dillan Crawley reside in Des Moines. Dillan is a Des Moines area native and is an Ag underwriter for Nationwide. He’s a big movie/music buff, baseball fan and enjoys coaching with Kiwanis Miracle League. Taylor is an account manager at Lessing-Flynn, an advertising agency in the East Village. She enjoys trying out new recipes (especially sweet ones) and volunteering with local organizations. In our free time, we enjoy exploring Des Moines, walks with our dog, Georgie, and spending time with our families.

Ben & Jen Kleene
Ben and Jen enjoy hiking, traveling, and exploring new places – mostly with their combined family of four children and cadre of grandparents! Since marrying in 2018, coordinating kids across two districts, four buildings, and more activities than you can shake a stick at consumes most of their time. In addition to managing the constant chaos, Ben is an accountant with Athene and Jen manages construction projects for the State of Iowa.

Hardy Whiteman
Hardy moved to Des Moines a little over 20 years ago when his wife, Cheryl Thomas accepted a call to serve as Pastor for Calvary Baptist Church. Cheryl died 2 1/2 years ago. He has 2 children, John who graduated from Mizzou Law is working in the Attorney General’s Office and Glenna who is a teacher with Des Moines Public Schools. Hardy works in Quality Improvement. He is looking forward to participating in Plymouth’s social justice efforts and feels he can add some perspective to TIM ministers about the experiences a pastor’s spouse and family have.

Randy Breese
I was born and raised in Des Moines and have lived here most all of my life. My favorite city to visit is Paris (I completed my MBA program there just so I could live there.) My hobbies include wine tastings (over Zoom these days), genealogy and photography. (I started genealogy just a couple of months before the pandemic hit and that really helped to pass the time. So far during my research I have discovered that I am a descendant from at least 3 of the original Mayflower pilgrims. Also, my 4th great grandfather was a soldier in the American Revolution.)

Deb Roberts
I have been retired from teaching elementary art for a few years now; trading that in for time spent watching my granddaughters, which turns out to be a pretty good trade.  I am fortunate to have my daughter and son (and their families) in the Des Moines area, as family is my number one “hobby”! I also enjoy spending time in my art studio, working in clay and painting.  Before the pandemic I enjoyed taking classes at the art center, so I am thankful I have my own in-home creative space.  Other past times include yoga, biking, and long hikes. Since my husband’s retirement a year ago we have returned to our love for camping, giving up the days of setting up a tent to now traveling in our camper sprinter van, much better suited.  So, I am enjoying lots of travel in the U.S., hoping to resume some international travel again, when possible.

Doug Roberts
I recently retired from a 21-year career with Deere & Co., which followed a 21-year career as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy.  My chosen careers had one thing in common – a lot of international travel – so it’s been great to hang around home to focus on my hobbies: wood working, bike riding and fly fishing.  The pandemic has limited our travel opportunities; however, we’ve found that we can safely see the U.S. in our small RV, which has been a lot of fun. Like most of us, I’m looking forward to a return to normal socializing and large family gatherings, especially the opportunity to see my parents and grandchildren on a regular basis.


Ash Wednesday


Join us virtually for our Ash Wednesday service on February 17! This service will be pre-recorded. It will premier on our YouTube channel at 5 a.m. and premier on our Facebook page at 5:30 p.m. It will remain available on those pages, so you can watch them at any time that is easiest for you!


Chancel Flowers


You may notice some beautiful flowers during our Weekend Worship service. If you would like to donate flowers, please click this link to the Sign-Up Genius and choose your week. When you talk to your florist, please arrange to have the flowers delivered by noon on Thursday. This will allow us to get them in place before the service is recorded on Thursday afternoon. If you have questions, please contact Diane Hayes at her email:


Making Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday


When was the last time you made pancakes from scratch? That’s what we thought! And it’s exactly why Pastor Mary Kate Buchanan will be helping us with on Friday with a video from her kitchen, showing you how to make pancakes, step by step. That way you will be ready for the Virtual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper in your own house!

Ready to join her? Print out this list of ingredients below, so you’re prepared, and watch that video here!


Wednesday Bible Study


DID YOU KNOW that there is Bible Study every Wednesday night? Well, now you do! Every Wednesday evening, Plymouth members meet to discuss the upcoming scripture and theme for the weekend. We laugh. We pray. We light candles. We listen for God’s word for us. Bible study commences at 7 p.m., however, many join at 6:30 p.m. to check-in, finish dinner together, and chat about important things like our pets, favorite colors, and our new haircuts! Come one, come all!

You can join here with this Zoom link:


Evening Prayer


Join us each weekday at 5:30 p.m. as a different pastor will lead a short evening prayer service. Let this time bring you peace, solace, and connection at the end of your day. To join live at 5:30 each Monday to Thursday, click here. If you are joining later, find a playlist of recent Evening Prayers, click here.


Senior Minister Search Update: Feb. 1


The senior minister search committee met with conference representatives to learn more about resources available through the UCC Conference. Rev. Brigit Stevens and Rev. Samantha Houser spent time with the committee explaining how the conference can assist and add valuable support to the senior minister search.

Rev. Houser, who is currently the steward of the search and call process for the conference, emphasized the search will be an endeavor of faith and discernment. She encouraged the committee to be in an attitude of covenant with God and each other. From a process perspective, Rev Houser outlined resources available from the conference which will play a critical role in the work.

After requesting proposals from multiple search firms, the committee will also interview three firms in February. Additional information will be available as those meetings take place. Watch this space for future updates.

Please remember, the search committee can be reached at the following email address: